SA Tourism Industry was badly affected by the pandemic. The industry saw a huge fall of 71% in 2020. Moreover, this industry accounted for 4.5% of employment in South Africa as of 2018. Furthermore it contributes fairly to the GDP of South Africa. In 2018 it contributed to about 3% directly to the GDP which was about R130 Billion.
How the Pandemic affected South African Tourism
The decrease in the tourism industry is mainly by the pandemic. But how did it do that? Well, the borders were closed last year for a few months. This prevented tourists from entering the country. And also due to the lockdown, the tourists couldn’t spend more on the industry. They were forced to stay indoors and thus saved a lot of money. And even if they could, the restrictions would only allow them to do soo much and also limit their numbers. It wasn’t fun at all. These problems then constituted to a decrease in tourists volume of about 72.6% which is a decrease from 10.8 million tourists to only 2 million. And, 74.8% of these tourists were from Africa.
The demographics recorded show that most of the tourists were males and fewer female. With a bigger number coming from the SADC countries than anywhere else. The industry only made a profit which was below R5 million compared to profits of previous years where they made profits above R10 million. This is a huge fall, however with the recent roll out of Pfizer vaccines, the economy seems to be opening up and the industry might see a resuscitation. With the manufacturing production industry of South Africa seeing an increase of about 4.6% as of March 2021.
Other SADC countries
Zimbabwe remained at the top SADC country in tourism with Botswana surging below by 80.6%. This was higher than South Africa. The reasons behind this can range from the length of the period they locked their borders to the overall perspective of tourists. However, the pandemic had a bigger impact than all these. Even though the SA Tourism Industry fell by 71%, the GDP still managed to grow by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of October-November. Bringing an Annualized overall growth of 6.3%. South Africa still ended the note on a positive, which was good.